Terry Gilbertson graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1966 and Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 1970. While in high school he participated in football, basketball and Track. He was team captain in football and basketball and All-Conference in football. While at Luther College, he played football for four years as a quarterback and halfback.
Terry moved to Waseca in 1970 where he accepted an elementary teaching position for the Waseca Public Schools. As luck would have it, Terry was also able to coach in the sport he truly loves – Football. Terry coached sophomore football in 1970 and 1971. In 1972, he was offered the head football coaching position; without reservation, he accepted. Waseca was 7-2 in Gilbertson’s first year, and that was the start of the career of Waseca’s longest head coach. He still remembers his first win, a 20–0 win over Windom. From 1972 until 1996 the Bluejays won 120 games and lost 105. When “Gilby” as he was affectionately called by many of his players, recorded his 100th win, he was one of only 65 active Minnesota coaches to reach the 100-win plateau. Coach Gilbertson and the Jays won the South Central Conference Championship in 1977, 1985, 1987, and 1990. In the history of Waseca football, Terry has coached the Bluejay varsity football team longer than any other coach, 25 years. He was also junior high basketball coach four years and assistant track coach for 20 years.
Throughout the course of 27 years, his most memorable highlights all revolve around people, coaches and players. As one looks back, the friendships, the hard work by the players and coaches, and the thrills of Friday nights under the lights stand out as the essence of high school sports. Coaching the conference championship teams were really a highlight because we achieved our main goals.
In retirement, Terry does a lot of fishing, hunting and carpentry projects. He still helps out at football games with markers, etc. and acts as host for the visiting teams.
Terry and his wife Carolyn raised three children. Chad, Anne, and Jane still have a great fondness for Waseca and the wonderful experiences they had growing up. The grandchildren are now enjoying all the benefits that Waseca has to offer, and he especially enjoys spoiling them.
Terry is still honored when he meets a former player and is addressed as “Coach”. Life is good, carry your memories of past joys forever.